Summary: The SteelSound 5H lasted 11 brutal months in Jakub's clumsy hands. The V2 arrived on his doorstep. How can it improve on its predecessor? Read on!
And then, out of nowhere, appears the SteelSound 5H V2. Functionally identical to the SteelSound 5H for all intents and purposes, it only really differs in one area. Gone is the rubber-coated cord and in is a nylon sheath. Is that important? Probably not if you donít have rudder pedals or a hard floor and a rolling chair. For those that do, such as this reviewer, it is the one final piece of armor that covers the durability concerns you may have. Several weeks after reviewing the original 5H, the cord was tangled in the rudder pedals and in that time the rubber cover of the cord was cut open. Now this didnít affect functionality of the headset, but it did necessitate regular placement of electrical tape to minimize further damage. A nylon cord is much harder to cut open and is naturally more durable.
In every other measure, including sound quality, itís impossible to tell the difference between the two items. Sound Ė both output from the headphones and input into the retractable microphone Ė is good but not excellent. Compared to any other headset, it is stellar. Relative to a dedicated quality microphone and a pair of HD580 Sennheisers, naturally there is going to be some loss. For the most part, however, the SteelSound 5H V2 sees gaming use rather than any sort of dedicated music listening, and in this respect it more than satisfies. Official numbers state a frequency response of 16Hz-28KHz @40 Ohms for the headphones, and 75Hz-16KHz for the microphone with a 2,000 Ohm impedance. Numbers generally donít tell the story with sound, however, and we stand by our subjective statements.
Like the regular 5H, it can easily separate into three pieces for storage or movement. The headset has a wide range of adjustment and is comfortable, with a thick padding on top and full-sized ear muffs for minimal discomfort over long gaming sessions. Given that the World of WarCraft expansion has been released recently, weíve experienced quite a few of those late-night marathons.
Finally, being so closely tied to its predecessor, it necessarily shares the same flaw: cost. Thereís no denying that the SteelSound 5H V2 is a quality headset and the best weíve ever used, with remarkable durability and good sound, but it does come at a steeper price that you might expect. The $99USD MSRP is for the standard non-USB model and we found little deviation from it, at least in local markets.